EA aims to dominate shooters once again

Electronic Arts Games head Frank Gibeau sat down for a recent interview and made it clear that EA has its sights set on the first-person-shooter market. And it wants to take Activision down.

Activision's Call of Duty franchise rules first-person shooters, but Electronic Arts isn't ready to give up on that market quite yet.

EA's Frank Gibeau Electronic Arts

Frank Gibeau, president of EA Games Label, says his company's upcoming first-person shooter Battlefield 3 will help the studio regain some of its lost appeal and get it closer to matching the Call of Duty juggernaut.

"It's what we've been trying to do in the EA Games Label over the last couple years--get our mojo back in terms of quality and great IPs," Gibeau said, referencing intellectual property in an article posted today by U.K. games site IndustryGamers. "For me, this is a great example of investments we've been making in technology, team culture and getting the talent in place to make world-beating games."

Overcoming Call of Duty's success in the first-person-shooter market won't be easy. In 2009, Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which quickly became the biggest entertainment launch in history . Last year, it followed it up with Call of Duty: Black Ops, which not only beat Modern Warfare 2 sales figures but set a new record for revenue, hitting $650 million worldwide in five days and over $1 billion in just six weeks .

Gibeau shifted his attention to Medal of Honor, the first-person shooter EA released last year that was easily overshadowed by Black Ops. He said that Medal of Honor was once "the dominant brand and created the shooter category, frankly, for consoles." And although last year's release didn't overcome Black Ops, he believes the time has come to regain some of EA's past glory.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick wouldn't necessarily see it that way. Last year, Kotick took some shots at EA in an interview with Edge Magazine, saying that the company " has been struggling for a really long time ." Kotick said EA has trouble "getting really talented people," which "translates into less-than-great games."

Competitive opinions aside, EA is ready for a fight--even if Activision and Kotick don't see EA and its upcoming Battlefield 3 title as a true competitor.

"We're here to compete," Gibeau told IndustryGamers. "Everyone loves a heavyweight battle."

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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